The original mission of the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center's "Telecommunications Hub (Telehub)" was to establish "Satellite Centers" throughout the community to enable students, and other residents, to have access to current Information Age technology. This enabled students to have the use of current software, within walking distance from their homes, assisting them in writing papers, Internet research, and educational tutoring. Other community residents had the same access.

That was the mission of the Telehub established in 1999. It was founded on the premise of maximizing scares technical talents of our community. It delivered platform (PAS), infrastructure (IAS), and software (SAS) services to the community over point to point wireless network connections. Dumb Terminal were utilized as the endpoint solution and the Telehub team maintained the network and backend servers. Access was incented by reading proficiency measured through software testing of students. Results awarded through capability enabled for students on the provided endpoint.

The network popularity, lead to a waiting list of interested community organizations. Challenges associated with implementing infrastructure to support line of sight requirements was identified. Sprint through our partnership, offered to solve this challenge by utilizing Telehub as their test bed for WiMAX solutions testing in November, 2004. Agreement was constructed that Sprint would supply the tower space and the equipment to eliminate the waiting list. Once testing was concluded the infrastructure would become property of the Telehub. Caveat was the Telehub had to provide $100K as earnest money on equipment being purchased.

Several lessons learned from this iterations. Dumb terminals was sound solutions as they continues to outperform PC cost of ownership. Recurring cost of virtualization with COTS solutions has budget impact; prevent ability to live off the land through bare funding cycles. Failure to utilize licensed frequency spectrums lead to link failures. Urban neighbor hoods have mature trees that complicates network path creations. Technical people struggle with marketing skills required to attract funding.

Provide is Leon Dixon's memoir of what is possible when like minded individuals come together for a common cause.

"All-in-All, I hope to show how the Telehub evolved (as did the DuBois Learning Center itself) from the desires of African Americans "who knew themselves" and were comfortable and confident enough in their abilities, skills and talents to initiate the actions that could possibly help lead to the World of Our Dreams.

Telehub 1.0


Telehub 1.0

Telehub 1.0

“Creating Giant Steps… Together”

Cover the community with networked “Satellite Centers” where students and other community residents can go to work on their homework assignments and projects, using the latest computer technology, within walking distance if their homes.

Allied Signal -- 1990
$25,000 --> Enable creation of first computer lab. 15 x386sx PC and a print server
Microsoft Donated Software. User Licenses, Servers, Desktop Applications

General Electric - 1998
$20,00--> Lab 2 & Server Room Expansion

Waitt Foundation- 2000 - August
Waitt Foundation

Sprint - 2000 - November
93 Endpoints -- 7 Sites

GE Employees Reinsurance Corporation- 2001 - August
GE Employees Reinsurance Corporation

Department of Education- 2001
216 Endpoints -- 15 Sites 180" Ft Communication Tower -- Network Extension with VPN Technologies
3 Year Data Center Plan

Sprint - 2004 - October
WiMAX Testing
Dragon Wave - Sprint / DuBois High Capacity Wireless Network Proposal
Red Line Communications - - The DuBois Project


Telehub - A Viable Solution to Digital Divide
DLC Telehub Offerings

Proposals to Sprint

1999 DLC Needs Identified to Sprint
1999 Proposal to Sprint --Build a Technology Center
1999 Proposal to Sprint --Upgrade for existing ISDN Circuit

Other Documents

2000 Youth Opportunity Program Applciation
Research Aide for Verbiage Used Original RFP
2000 - SPRINT Funded Wiring Program
2000 May - RFP for Sprint Funds

KC Call - Community Erection of Communication Tower
KC Call - Beacon of Hope

DLC Telehub Briefing
Expansion Plans
General Mills Proposals

Lesson Learned

  • Dumb Terminals --> Premise Validated: Virtualization Reduces Cost of Ownership

  • Need for License Links -- Links connectivity lost due to spectrum congestion

  • Funding Sources for New Technology

  • Wireless Network Extension utilizing VPN Technology

  • Existence of Community Passion for Projects of Need
  • Telehub

    Telehub 2.0

    Telehub 1.0

    2000 - November

    2001 - August

    2002 - August


    History of our Logo


    W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center TeleHUB Logo

    The W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center embarked on a project to construct a onsite satellite tower, which was used to provide wireless internet service and remote software to area churches, youth organizations, and school programs, providing inner city youth the opportunity to use innovative technology so that they can advance scholastically. To celebrate the completion of this project, we were asked to create a icon. "The Beacon of Hope," which the tower was named, was iconized and use in animated web commercials on the Learning Center's website.

    2003 - August

    Sprint / DuBois WiMAX Testing

    The telehub model was considered very successful, and replicable. The DLC began to receive requests for services and expansion from other parts of the urban core. With financial resources provided through a grant from the Department of Education and corporations such as General Electric, the capability to accommodate these requests was accomplished by erecting a 190 ft. tower to transmit over longer distances.

    The second phase of the telehub Creating Giant Steps...Together development was completed in October of 2002, and the network has grown to include computer technology labs in thirteen area satellite sites with over 145 access points. The registered user base experienced a 21.6% increase in the eight month period ending in May of 2003. The base has continued to grow and currently reached over 2,600 users. Two additional sites are under development during the summer of 2003.

    There were a substantial number of additional requests from other churches and centers in the community, and funding to develop the infrastructure needed for additional expansion was sought on an ongoing basis. Word of this success has also reached other cities, generating additional interest. In 2003, the DLC established a network link to Detroit, Michigan, demonstrating that the Telehub can be replicated and grow to accommodate satellites locally and throughout the country.

    Challenges associated with implementing infrastructure to support line of sight requirements was identified. Sprint through our partnership, offered to solve this challenge by utilizing Telehub as their test bed for WiMAX solutions testing in November, 2004. Red Line Communication and Dragon Wave both submitted proposals to connect sites on our waiting list. Agreement was constructed that Sprint would supply the tower space and the equipment to connect sites on our waiting list. Once testing was concluded the infrastructure would become property of the Telehub. Caveat was the Telehub had to provide $100K as earnest money on equipment being purchased.

    Dragon Wave

    Redline Communications

    Telehub 2.0


    Telehub 2.0

    "Skilled communities empowered for innovation”

    "“Providing access to technology and applicable training to equip individuals for future opportunities”.


    UNI Connecting Neighbors --- Urban Neighborhood Initiate

    Historic Vine Wireless Cloud
    Mozilla/NSF WINS award
    Honorable Mention $10,000

    Black Family Technology Awareness Association
    KC Digital Drive
    KCMO Digital Strategic Plan
    Kansas City Mo Public Schools
    Established Skilu partnership.

    Over the summer of 2015, the Telehub went through extensive strategic planning sessions to revaluate it's direction. Members expressed concerns with creation of the "Digital Age" caste system. Individuals, alignment to creator, maintainers, and consumer castes. Fear is our community is being relegated to consumer caste.

    Strategic plans lead to an update of the Telehub's vision and mission to one that aligned with perceived need to exposed the community with skill building opportunities.

    In Leon Dixon's, "World of Our Dreams"., memoir, "Harrison's Hypothesis" was termed due to observation, the Telehub blessings were bestowed when times of needs occur. Over the 2015 Christmas holiday's, Aaron Deacon, Managing Director of KC Digital Drive reached out to the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC), Telehub to provide technical support to deliver on a grant that had been provided to the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI), Connecting Neighbors project. This had a rejuvenating effect on the Telehub; languishing without funds to acquire technology. Stay tune to this site as this group of like minded individuals attempts to make a difference in our community.


    Telehub 1.0

    Connecting Neighbors

    Connecting Neigbors

    Connecting Neighbors-UNI is pilot effort to bridge digital deficiencies in Kansas City's underserverd community. This is a community based project to build a wireless network that will advance digital skills to enhance our community ability to compete in the digital age. KC Digital Drive partnership has leveraged their relationship with wireless equipment vendors to acquire carrier grade equipment to build the network under the technical guidance of the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC). Partnership established with KCPS, to supplement instructions for students in the Cisco Pathway program at Manuel Career Technical (MCTC). These students will be trained to build and maintain this network.

    Urban Neighborhood Initiative Project


    Operational Links

    Gregg Tabernacle AME (GREGG)
    Historic Lincoln Building (HLINC)
    Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council (INC)
    Kansas City Neighborhood Academy(KCNA)
    Lincoln Preparatory Academy (LINC)
    Manuel Career Tech Center (MCTC)
    Reconciliation Service (RS)

    In Work

    Central Middle School (CMS)
    Victory Life Church (VLC)
    W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC)


    Skill Development
    Basic Cable Technician
    PC Repair

    Forward by Irinia Bokova, UNESCO "Working Group on Education: Digital Skills for Lief & Work, September 2017

  • People speak of the emergence of a new generation of ‘digital natives’ as if this is inevitable. It isn’t — we see new divides emerging and old gaps widening, notably for girls and women. To be truly empowering, new technologies must stand on two pillars. Firstly, they must be inclusive, bridging gaps, not widening them. Secondly, they must be underpinned by respect for human rights and dignity. In this context, the imperative of fostering digital literacy for all has never been so important.
  • From the work for the National Broadband Plan, we learned that cost, digital skills, and relevance are the reasons people cite for not having home service. It's time to cross relevance off the list. A lot more non-adopters say in 2015 that having service at home is important than did in 2010. We didn't explore digital skills as a barrier in this research -- but I can assure (from research I have underway that will come out in the 1Q of '16) that digital skills still matter a lot to adoption & use. -- {SHLB} Pew Research states relevance can be crossed off the list of broadband adoption barriers.

    Central Middle School (CMS)

    Gregg Tabernacle AME (GREGG)

    Crew at Gregg AME

    Historic Lincoln Building (HLINC)

    Ivanhoe Neigborhood Council (INC)

    Kansas City Neighborhood Academy (KCNA)

    Lincoln Preparatory Academy (LINC)

    Crew at HLINC

    Crew at LINC

    Manuel Career Tech Center (MCTC)

    Next Steps - Connecting Neighbors

    Reconciliation Service (RS)

    Skill Development

    Basic Cable Installer

    Computer Service Technicans

    UNI - MAN Topology

    Victorious Life Church (VLC)

    W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC)

    Mozilla : Smart Community Network Challenge

    Google map of KCPS District


    Interest Measurement

    Neighborhood Survey

    Community Training

  • Cisco Career Pathway - Manuel Career Technical Center
  • Capacity improvements of existing wireless cloud

    Urban Challenges to Line if Sight

    Extend Coverage Utilizing KCPS fiber infrastructure

    Technology Assessment (RFPs)

  • 3.65 GHz

  • Identify Radios for Light Pole Installation
  • Goals

    Mozilla : WINS - Prototype

    Ivanhoe - Gregg

    Open Mesh Testing

    Historic Lincoln

    Mimosa Testing

    Prototype - Backbone

    Prototype - Backhaul

    Prototype - DLC

    Prototype - INC - Gregg

    Open Mesh

    Prototype - Mimosa

    Prototype - Training